Do you have the munchies? Skip the potato chips and feast on this in-depth look at bag clips, those little clasps you place on top of your snacks. These kitchen essentials may seem pretty simple, but there’s way more to them than you may think!

You don’t have to be a five-star chef to understand the science of bag clips. Here’s everything you need to know and a few other fun facts to satisfy your appetite!

What is a Bag Clip?

What is a Bag Clip?

What is a Bag Clip?

A bag clip is used to reseal snacks, thus preventing them from going stale. Sometimes called chip clips, these clasps have jagged “teeth” that chomp down on the top of open bags.

Why Does Air Make Food Go Stale?

Why Does Air Make Food Go Stale?

Why Does Air Make Food Go Stale?

Potato chips, bread, crackers, and many other foods become stale when exposed to the moisture in the air. Salty foods stale because they’ve been exposed to too much moisture. Grains like pasta and tortillas, on the other hand, stale because they’ve lost too much moisture.

There are more than 36,000 food and beverage plants in the United States, and it’s important that they design their packaging to be airtight. Have you ever noticed the silver lining inside of snack bags? This is a layer of aluminum that eliminates the threat of moisture from seeping inside.

Food brands also work with very low levels of humidity. Whether it’s the Frito-Lay’s manufacturing facility in Arizona or the Sara Lee bread bakery in Illinois, the workers are accustomed to operating in a cool, dry environment.

How Does a Bag Clips Work?

A bag clip acts like a bodyguard, preventing excess air from seeping into a bag of food once it’s opened. By using one, you’re trapping the small amount of air already inside the bag.

Let’s use potato chips as an example. Each chip is made up of glucose molecules, which weaken when exposed to the water molecules in the air. As a result, the chips become soft when they go stale.


How Does a Bag Clips Work?

A chip clip is like a good goalie in a soccer game. It blocks any water molecules from the glucose, preventing the chips from going stale. The same goes for the starch molecules found in grains, only these crystallize, or harden, when they come into contact with the water in the air.

Nearly 40% of all food in the United States goes to waste. Using a bag clip is a small way to get the most out of the food you purchase.

How to Close a Bag of Chips Without Clips

Are you fresh out of bag clips? No worries! You can use a ton of household items instead to keep the food from going stale.

Try any of the following!

  • Paper clips
  • Binder clips
  • Clothespins
  • Tape
  • Rubber bands
  • Hair accessories (ties, barrettes, bobby pins)
  • Wine corks
  • Hangers
Paper or Binder Clips https://www.inspiringsavings.com/

Paper or Binder Clips

The binder clip is the unsung hero of the kitchen! You can use it in many different ways, including keeping your food bags firmly shut. Paper clips are also good for smaller snack bags.

Clothespins https://creativelysams.com/

Clothespins

Your laundry is done drying, so use those extra clothespins to close snack bags. It may not look pretty, but it gets the job done!

Tape

Tape

Let’s say you’re traveling, and you don’t want to lug around a bunch of bag clips. Fold down a snack bag, and secure it in place using a piece of tape.

Rubber Bands

Rubber Bands

Don’t let those rubber bands in your junk drawer go to waste! You can use them to close open bags, so the food inside doesn’t spoil or go stale.

Hair Accessories https://www.amazon.com/

Hair Accessories

Bobby pins, hair ties, and barrettes can be used to cinch snack bags closed. Plus, it makes them look pretty!

Wine Corks https://myusefulideas.com/

Wine Corks

Slice a wine cork halfway up, and place it on top of a folded snack bag. As long as the cut isn’t too wide, the cork will snuggly keep the bag in place.

Hangers https://happymoneysaver.com/

Hangers

Shirts at stores like Walmart or Target are often hung up using plastic hangers with built-in clips. Cut the clips from these hangers, and use them to close chip bags.

Some chip bags can be closed without anything at all!
Watch this video to see how it’s done.

How to Use Bag Clips

You can use a bag clip in almost every room of your house, not just the kitchen. They come in handy for all of the following:

Sealing Food

Sealing Food

Bag clips definitely belong in the kitchen! You can use them to seal: chips, crackers, nuts, popcorn, pretzels, tortilla shells, bread, pasta, cereal, salad, candy, cookies, and frozen foods like peas and chicken.

Keeping Coffee & Tea Fresh

Keeping Coffee & Tea Fresh

It would be devastating to sip from your coffee mug only to realize that the grounds have lost their flavor. Avoid this mishap by sealing the bag shut with a chip clip. You can also do the same for tea bags.

Makeshift Hooks

Makeshift Hooks

The last thing you want is to misplace things early in the morning. Use a bag clip to hold keys, dog leashes, purses, and anything else you need to grab in a hurry.

Papers & Coupons

Papers & Coupons

Grocery lists, reminders, schedules, and coupons can all be held together with chip clips. The magnetic bag clips are best since you can stick them right to the fridge.

Bad Hair Days

Bad Hair Days

While it may not look stylish, you can keep hair out of your face with a bag clip. It’s a real lifesaver on busy days when the kids are being crazy, but you have chores and errands to tackle.

Organizing Cords

Organizing Cords

Hide ugly cords in your office or living room by folding them accordion style and clipping them together with a chip clip. You can then tuck the entire bundle behind your desk or TV stand.

Holding Tablecloths & Napkins

Holding Tablecloths & Napkins

Are you hosting an outdoor party? Pin the tablecloths and napkins in place using a few bag clips. Now you don’t have to worry about anything blowing away!



Did you know?

Chip clips went viral on TikTok in 2021. Users could be seen putting one on anything they couldn’t finish, whether it was their homework, a piece of candy, or even time with their dog!



Why Should You Use a Bag Clip?

Why Should You Use a Bag Clip?

Why Should You Use a Bag Clip?

According to the BBC, 78% of Americans have no idea of what to do with all their clutter. Bag clips may not solve all the problems, but they can definitely help you become more organized. You can use them to hide the cords in your living room, display your to-do list, or make your pantry look nice and neat.

You can technically get away with not using bag clips, but why not invest in a few? They’re cheap and useful all over your house. And let’s face it… it’s worth shelling out $5 on a set if it makes your life a little easier!

The Bottom Line

It may not be as advanced as a delivery drone or as cool as a self-driving car, but the chip clip is still a pretty incredible invention. You can use one to organize your home, or more commonly, to keep your food from going to waste. Buy a few for your home!

References

WikiHow. (2021, October 21). How to Close a Chip Bag. Retrieved from,
https://www.wikihow.com/Close-a-Chip-Bag

Feltman, R. (2016, September 27). How to Save Stale Bread and Chips With Delicious Chemistry. Retrieved from,
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/09/27/how-to-save-stale-bread-and-chips-with-delicious-chemistry/

Tooley, T. How Do Potato Chips Get Stale? Retrieved from,
https://www.ehow.com/how-does_4731145_potato-chips-stale.html

Economic Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2021, May 27). Food and Beverage Manufacturing. Retrieved from,
https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-markets-prices/processing-marketing/manufacturing/

BeMiller, J. (2008, April 24). Why Does Food Get Stale Over Time? Retrieved from,
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/experts-why-does-food-get-stale/

Budget Savvy Diva. How to Reuse Wine Corks as Bag Clips. Retrieved from,
https://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2014/02/reuse-wine-corks-bag-clip/

Yahoo Life! (2021, June 8). TikTok Users Are Sticking Chip Clips on Things They Can’t Finish. Retrieved from,
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/tiktok-users-sticking-chip-clips-171051296.html

O’Brien, J. (2015, February 6). The Stuff Paradox: Dealing With Clutter in the US. Retrieved from,
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31051632

Feeding America. How We Fight Food Waste in the US. Retrieved from,
https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/our-approach/reduce-food-waste

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